Frequently Asked Questions

The Q Exam

People from a wide range of backgrounds are interested in Q membership. Whether perfectly healthy, or managing an ongoing medical issue, the best way to understand your current and future risk factors is to track what is changing in your body, and how fast. Research shows this approach can help identify issues earlier — which means more options for prevention and treatment.

The Q Exam gives you the information you need about your body so you can take control of your health. The Q Protocol covers your medical history, genetics, as well as biomarkers and imaging of your nervous, hormonal, circulatory, respiratory, immune, digestive, urinary/renal, reproductive, and musculoskeletal systems. We non-invasively measure thousands of biomarkers in a manner designed to detect changes associated with common cancers, cardiac, neurodegenerative, and metabolic diseases, as well as musculoskeletal issues, and exposure to environmental toxins.

Our standard exam includes blood, urine, and saliva sample collection for laboratory analysis, as well as a non-invasive, whole body MRI and vital signs measurement.

In addition to measuring your vital signs and performing a whole body MRI, the samples we collect generate a variety of data. We collect saliva that is used for genetic sequencing and analysis for well-characterized variants. We collect urine for standard urinalysis with microscopy as well as for elemental analysis that can identify metal content. Finally we collect blood that is sent to laboratories for an extensive range of tests including:

  • Complete Blood Count
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • HbA1c, fasting glucose, and Insulin
  • A number of hormones
  • Markers for bone and blood health
  • Advanced cardiac panel with lipoprotein size fractions, APOB, Lp(a) and inflammation markers
  • A set of cancer-related biomarkers
  • Antibody levels
  • Cytokine levels

A single exam provides a powerful tool in managing your healthcare; for instance, MRI images can be used as priors if you get injured or sick in the future, and your genetic analysis could determine risk factors that may impact your approach to healthcare in the future. Most importantly, seeing many biomarkers and vital signs all in one place can provide a lot of information about your current health status. Beyond a single Q Exam that establishes a personal baseline for your health, we firmly believe in the power of longitudinal data. With each subsequent Q Exam, your dashboard becomes richer as you establish your own trendlines for long-term tracking.

Two weeks after each Q Exam, a summary of the health of each of your body’s systems is displayed in a report, which is then reviewed and discussed with you via video-conference. You are welcome to invite your doctor or specialist to attend, and many of our members enjoy this option. Lifetime access to your BioVault (your report, and all raw results), is provided to you via a secure link after your review, empowering you to provide that data to any healthcare partner you choose for diagnosis and care management.

Exams take between 75 to 90 minutes start to finish. We value your time and make your visit as efficient as possible.

Yes! Q Exams are conducted in-person at our Center. We continually strive to make them as efficient as possible, and work to accommodate busy schedules by offering early morning and weekend appointments.

Our first exams begin at 7am and are the most popular given that we request that you fast starting 12 hours prior to your blood draw. The last normally scheduled exam of the day begins at 1pm. We are open Sunday through Thursday every week, excluding Federal Holidays.

Our first Q Center is located in Redwood City, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. We have members who fly in from outside California and even internationally, but we understand this is not possible for most. We are looking at opening new Q Centers in the coming year.

We are expanding to meet the needs of our members and will be adding new Q Centers in the future. To stay updated about news regarding new locations, please follow us on Twitter @QBioInc.

Q Bio Membership and Payment Options

The membership cost includes the aggregation of your personal medical history for one year, one Q Exam and Data Review, and lifetime access to your BioVault. Additional future Q Exams can be scheduled at a frequency that may be based on current and future health risks, but is ultimately up to you and your care provider. The membership cost is incurred for each Q Exam you schedule.

Members have lifetime access to their BioVault. Once your membership expires (after one year from your exam date), any future medical records will not be aggregated until you renew. However, existing data and your existing Q Report will always be available to you. We will also give you a heads up when your membership expiration date is approaching!

We currently do not accept insurance. However, Q Exams qualify for HSA / FSA accounts.

Yes, payment must be for the individual, their spouse, or their tax dependent. Please consult with your tax professional to determine if your specific HSA or FSA can be used to pay for Q Membership. You will want to save receipts for documentation, and provide these to your tax professional.

Yes, we do have different types of membership plans: Health Q, Monitor Q, and Citizen Scientist Q.

Member Plans *
Health Q
$3,495
Monitor Q
$6,495
Citizen Scientist Q
$14,995
75-minute Q Exam per Year 1 2 2
30-min Telemedicine Data Review 1 2 2
12-months ongoing Medical Record
aggregation post-exam
Lifetime BioVault access
3-years BioBank of select samples
for future baseline options
   
15-min additional detailed
risk-related MRI scans
   
Advanced genetics panels and
blood toxin analyses
   
Research-level omics (e.g. proteome,
metabolome, immunome data) as
information becomes available
   

*volume pricing available for employer plans

Please contact our support team at support@q.bio. We do offer group and employer plans. We always appreciate employers who are on a shared mission with us to bring preventive health to many more people.

We are always trying to measure more about your health faster and at a more affordable price so that you have as much information as possible to make decisions about your health. We are considering offering multi-year plans where there would be a discount based on the number of years and number of visits/year. If you are interested, please let us know at support@q.bio.

Our Citizen Scientist Q is a platinum-level plan designed for those citizen scientists who would like to have access to cutting edge information about their bodies that goes beyond established and actionable clinical markers. This plan gives members two Q Exams in one year, both of which are followed by Q Report reviews via videoconference. We also give the option to measure research-level “omics”, such as your proteome, metabolome, and immunome data as that information becomes available. This omics data can provide additional insights, though they may not be fully actionable. Advanced genetics panels and blood toxin analysis are also added for more information. Citizen Scientist plan members are also offered the ability to biobank their samples for 3 years so that we can have historical and longitudinal samples available for additional testing when new insights in health informatics become available. Finally, we also will extend the Q Exam time to allow for more detailed, risk-related MRI scans. If you are interested in more information about Citizen Scientist, please let us know at support@q.bio.

Please notify us by phone (415) 967-7622 or email to scheduling@q.bio at least one week in advance of your appointment if you need to reschedule so that we may accommodate others on the waitlist. If you need to move your appointment within one week, but prior to 24 hours before your scheduled time, a $500 rescheduling fee will be withheld from your refund if you subsequently cancel your exam. We are unable to accommodate late arrivals of over 25 minutes after appointment time due to the nature of our exams and the need to ensure safety for other members. A $500 rescheduling fee applies to late-shows or cancellations within 24 hours of the appointment time.

Q Bio does not use in the provision of our services, or provide to Members, ICD codes (used in patient records for diagnostic purposes and for insurance reimbursement of medical expenses), or CPT codes (related to medical, surgical and diagnostic services and by insurance companies to determine the amount of insurance reimbursement), because the services provided by Q Bio do not include diagnosis, treatment or medical advice, or provide for insurance reimbursement.

However, a Member may use their Health Savings Account or Flexible Spending Account to pay for the services provided by Q Bio with pre-tax dollars.

Privacy, Medical Records, and Medical History

In your BioVault, you can make the choice to securely share your Q Report (and/or raw results) with your doctor. You can also revoke their access to your Q Report portal whenever you wish.

During your registration, you will be asked to include care provider and/or facility names. This will authorize us to contact them on your behalf to aggregate, digitize, and index all of your records for up to one year after your most recent Q Exam. If this is your first visit, prior biomarker information will be included in comparison with data collected during your Q Exam. There is no need to directly bring in any physical copies of records as it will be populated into your BioVault for you.

We want to empower you with the ability to securely share your health information with any care providers you choose. Information we collect, including any prior medical history we aggregate for you, will be securely stored and populated into your BioVault. You will have complete control over how and when that gets shared, if at all.

Member privacy is of utmost importance to us. We are HIPAA compliant and keep your electronic health records private and secure in your BioVault, to which only you have access. We never share information with third parties unless you have explicitly given us authorization to do so.

After your dashboard setup is complete, the medical records section can be accessed by clicking the circle at the top right of the screen. You can continue to add providers if you like, even after your exam.

The Member Registration Process

The Institutional Review Board (IRB) is an independent group that ensures research meets stringent ethical and safety standards. Q operates under an IRB-approved protocol, and we are strictly monitored and overseen by our IRB, which allows us to perform laboratory tests and create and share data at the forefront of biotechnology and scientific discovery. Much of what we measure is intended for research use only and cannot be used as FDA-approved diagnostic information. The IRB helps make sure we conduct our planned and ongoing research safely, ethically, responsibly, and with scientific rigor, all while complying with important regulations.

The $43,500 figure will not apply to any current membership since we are not currently offering a product at this cost. It is a required, hard upside cap we placed on any product or service we offer under our current IRB.

Please fill in your address as well as possible. We will not ship a genomics kit to your international address and will instead collect the sample onsite. For Social Security Number, please enter “1234.” For phone number, please enter “555-555-5555” if you do not have a US number. We are working on improving this experience for those outside the US. Please note that our platform is not built for international members and we may not be able to offer the full comprehensive platform (e.g. medical record aggregation) due to country limitations.

We currently do not accept new members under the age of 18.

Certain conditions, such as metal or electronic implants, can prevent one from having an MRI scan. Pregnancy and recent events like surgery or transfusions can prohibit members from completing a Q Exam in the near term. We encourage you to go through our registration process, which will screen for these things and more. If it appears that you have a contraindication to any component of the exam, someone from our team will reach out to you to discuss in detail.

For ethical, regulatory, and safety reasons, we must appropriately limit participation in the study and make sure prospective members understand the risks of participating. There are a number of considerations that have to be made to ensure members will have a low-risk experience. As we consider new members, we must apply requirements that have been approved by our authorized clinical research team and our Chief Medical Officer as guided by our IRB-approved protocol.

After Member Registration

Please contact scheduling@q.bio if you want to expedite your scheduling process. While waiting, check out the updates on our blog or on twitter.

We are currently moving people off the waitlist as fast as possible. This can be under a week to 3 weeks out with fluctuations in demand. We are willing to schedule exams months in the future and will get you on-boarded as soon as we can. Our advice to get a preferred appointment time is to schedule 2-3 months in advance.

We are open five days a week at our Redwood City center, and our scheduling team will work to find the soonest available appointment for you. Depending upon your availability, this can be anywhere from within a few weeks to several months.

It is best to add as much prior health history as you are able to your account profile, as this data is utilized to surface the changes to your body over time, and will be incorporated into your first Q Report. Your BioVault is ultimately a summary of your health history which can be shared with any health care providers you choose. We try to make this as smooth and low-effort as possible so the Q support team will do the work behind the scenes if you fill in and authorize health provider information. If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to reach out so we can walk you through it.

Preparing for the Q Exam

Prior to the Q Exam, if you have scheduled a visit more than 3 weeks away, we will be sending you a saliva collection kit prior to your first visit. Please follow the instructions included in the kit and send the sample back in the pre-paid package that is included. For visits scheduled sooner than 3 weeks, we will be doing the sample collection on-site.

You will also be receiving a safety check questionnaire in your inbox prior to your visit to confirm any potential changes in your health.

And finally, you will need to fast beginning 12 hours in advance of your Q Exam. Eating food or ingesting sugary drinks may result in variable laboratory results. Even non-caloric flavors can make your body react. Please refrain from eating food or drinking anything other than water within 12 hours of your Q Exam. Do stay hydrated with plain (non-carbonated, non-flavored) water.

Please consult your doctor about whether it is advisable to stop your medications before a blood test. If you are unsure, do not stop any prescription medication.

If possible, avoid taking dietary supplements and vitamins within three days of your Q Exam. Please consult your doctor if you are unsure about avoiding dietary supplements, vitamins, or other optional medications.

We will also be sending you this information right before your Q Exam with any reminders and information you require. So do not worry about keeping track – we will do it for you! As always, if you have any questions about any of the steps above, please do not hesitate to reach out.

During the Q Exam

This will probably feel similar to your last MRI, but as we scan your whole body, it will likely take longer.

  • You will be asked to remove any metallic objects or clothing and keep them outside the MRI room. We will also ask about your music preferences if you want to listen to something on Spotify.
  • Once inside, you will lie down on a table and we will add coils on top of you that detect the radio waves the scan generates.
  • We will give you earplugs for the noise, and a headset to hear your music selection and the technologist’s instructions on the two-way intercom.
  • You will have a pulse oximeter clipped on one of your fingers so we can see your heart rhythm. In your other hand, you will have a squeezable alarm ball in case you want to alert the technologist to any discomfort.
  • When ready on the table, you will slide into the magnet (which is open at both ends and well ventilated with a fan). We might ask that you close your eyes when we use a weak laser to position you on the table correctly.
  • While the machine is actively scanning, you will hear loud pulses and clicks, which are minimized with your headset and earplugs.
  • You will need to lie still for the actual scanning and we will ask you to hold your breath for up to 30 seconds while we are imaging your torso.

Let us know if you have any specific concerns. Our phlebotomists are well-trained and may be able to help you have an easier experience. It can be helpful for us to know to keep your chair reclined for the procedure, for instance.

Our phlebotomists are great with difficult veins. We use butterfly needles which you may already know about. We also can provide a smaller gauge needle if necessary which can help in this situation. Sometimes warming you up will help out. Our phlebotomists have the experience to customize the process to help.

We draw blood for testing and understand that some members find this to be uncomfortable but not very painful. MRIs do not hurt and we do not give intravenous contrast for our procedure.

We have had success with many members who are not thrilled about confined spaces, and our techs are excellent at helping you through the process. While you are in the scanner, you can speak with the tech, listen to music that you like, and we will make you comfortable with a blanket and pillows. Know that you can stop the scan at any time and are in control. Some people like to keep their eyes closed, other people like that we have a mirror they can use to look outside of the machine. Some people just like to walk around the magnet and take it all in before embarking. We will be patient.

For members with severe claustrophobia, you might have your doctor prescribe medication that will ease anxiety on the day of the exam. We are happy to put you in touch with our Chief Medical Officer if you would like to learn more about how to do that. Many with moderate anxiety are able to complete the scan without medication, but it is totally up to you and your doctor if you would like to try it.

We do not give intravenous contrast for our MRI procedure. While many radiologists consider contrast to be safe and effective for diagnosis of specific diseases, we have decided to avoid using it at this time.

The Radio-Frequencies (RF) used in MRI are non-ionizing and are therefore significantly more safe than more energetic frequencies used in XRay or CT machines. RF can be dangerous if you have ferromagnetic implants or clothing/jewelry, as it can heat these up quickly. This is why we do a thorough safety check and also remind you to leave any metal outside of the MRI room.

A Board-certified radiologist reads your MRI. We also segment brain tissue, muscle and fat, and heart and vessels to generate data about the three dimensional structure of your body.

Additional Q Bio Services

One great part of our service is the aggregation of your medical records from providers you identify. We can also provide access to your raw genetic sequencing data so a genetic counselor can help you decide how it can be used and what additional analysis can be done with your data that you already have from the Q exam.

We currently do not offer additional blood tests outside of our standard Q Exam Protocol. However, if there are specific tests you’ve done in the past that you feel would add context to your BioVault, we can securely aggregate your records for you. If you feel like we are missing something in our platform, let us know. We want our approach to measuring physiology to be dynamic and measure the best indicators of risk and are always trying to improve.

Q is not a provider of diagnostic services. We are not a medical practice. We provide you with raw measurements, lab-provided analysis, and tools to access them; you and those with whom you choose to share your data may choose how to interpret your measurements. Non-FDA approved molecular testing is limited in proven clinical utility and should be interpreted with caution as these assays are still investigational.